*A blog segment, inspired by Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback sub-article, where I will just throw out ten sports related things that are on my mind at this point, and ramble about them! So, here comes round two! Hope you enjoy, and please subscribe
1. Thursday night marked the beginning of the NHL season, and the on-ice product didn't fail to impress. It was exciting, end-to-end action, and was exactly how I expected it to be. There was one player, however, who really impressed me and showed me he can be a leader on a new team. Mike Komaserik was all over the place for the Toronto Maple Leafs in this game against his former team. The thing is, what he does doesn't show up on the score sheet. He finished the game a solid +1, and logged an impressive 22:33 minutes in ice time. He was banging bodies, and could always be seen in front of his net, pushing some Canadiens around and logging 13:00 in penalties. He's exactly what this Leafs team needed. They were getting pushed around last year, and depended on players like Luke Schenn to stick up for teammates. Really, Luke Schenn? Well, that won't be needed much more with Komaserik around, and if he keeps playing the way he did, he should make a huge impact for the Leafs on, and off the ice.
2. Sticking with the theme here, there was also a Canadien that really impressed me. Lets be honest, the Canadiens simply got out-played last night, and probably should not have won that game, and they wouldn't have had it not been for the stellar performance of Carey Price. I am probably this mans biggest fan, and have been his whole career. If you wanna call a 24-12-10, 2.56 GAA, .920 SV% season a bad one, let me give you this interesting stat. Carey Price did this at the tender age of 21, and do you wanna know the line Martin Brodeur put up at that age? He put up a solid 19-11-6 with a 2.44 GAA and a .902 SV%. Those lines are very comparable, and were talking about the best goaltender of all-time. So lets give the kid a break, he's only 22 years old and he's already one of the better goalies in the league, and he's only gonna get better. Basically what I'm saying is that he does not deserve all the **** he takes, and will be one of the best in the NHL, if not all-time when its said and done.
3. The Packers better be ready to see Aaron Rodgers on the ground, if their right side of the offensive line continues playing the way they are. Leonard Little gave them loads of trouble off the right side last week, and who can forget Antwan Odom's performance the week before that. Add to that that possibly the best pass rusher in the NFL, Jared Allen, will be starting on the right end for the Vikings Monday night, and this has potential to change the whole game. I do think that if given time, Rodgers could exploit a very average secondary in the Metrodome, and could turn this into a shootout. We'll just have to wait and see.
4. How predictable in the NBA these days. I can already tell you who will finish in the top five in the East, and probably the top nine in the west. It's always been this way in the NBA, and it's starting to get old. Cleveland, Orlando, Boston, Miami and Atlanta are gonna finish atop the east. I can't guarantee an order, but they'll be there. In the west, just look at the top nine teams, and how much further ahead of the rest on the conference they were. To put this into perspective, let me give you the stat of the day. In the past ten years, a total of 11 different teams have made the NBA finals, and eight of those finals went to either the San Antonio Spurs or the Los Angeles Lakers. In the NFL, 14 different teams have appeared in the Super Bowl, with only one team winning it more then once. The NHL has had 12 different finalists and 9 different winners, while the MLB has had 15 different finalists with only 2 repeat winners. So, NBA, lets do something to make it more unpredictable, instead of me knowing I'm gonna be watching the conference finals featuring the Lakers v. Spurs and Cavaliers v. Celtics.
5. Peyton Manning is the best quarterback of all-time. I'm currently watching him just pick apart the Seahawks, and it occurred to me. He has done just as much as anyone in history. He's gonna lead in about every significant category when his career is over, he's won his Super Bowl, and he wins in any situation thrown at him. For a while there, it was he only puts up numbers cause of who he's got at receiver. Now, he's making Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie look good. He's played with some just terrible defenses, and is playing under the biggest coaching overhaul I've ever seen this year. His offensive line is always banged up, and he's lucky if he's got a running game any given week. Hell, he's had to win games in which he had the ball for less then 15 minutes. Despite all this, 23/27, 282 yard and 2 touchdown day (his line with 10:25 left in the third quarter v. Seahawks) is something that we all come to expect, and is exactly what he delivers.
6. I can't wait for this Twins-Tigers game. To think that two teams played 162 games, and finished with the same record is just astonishing. Now we get a real treat, in watching two teams play for the opportunity to play the Yankees. I got two contrasting opinions here. I think that the Tigers are more built to beat the Yankees in a 5 game series. They've got solid pitching, and a true ace that the Twins just don't have. They've also got a better lineup from top to bottom, and would just be better suited to play the Yankees. However, I think everything points to the Twins winning this game. It's being played at the MetroDome, where the Tigers are 2-7 in their last 9 games. The Tigers are gonna feel really pushing Verlander too hard, as they now have to pitch Rick Porcello. Now, don't get me wrong, he's one of the best 20 year old pitchers in the world, but he's just that, a 20 year old pitcher. The Twins combat this with Scott Baker, who's quietly been one of the best pitchers since the All-Star break, going 8-2 with a 3.21 ERA. In the end, I think the 50,000 strong at the MetroDome will make things tough on Porcello, and the Twins take the game.
7. Leave Tom Brady alone, he just did what any great quarterback does. When Terrell Suggs fell harmlessly into his legs, he turned around and called for the flag, and he got it. He's just doing his job, it's not against the rules. So stop calling him a woman, or to take off his dress, he's just being Tom Brady. The quarterback who understands the game better then anyone, and knows what he can and can not do. If whining for a call and a free first down, and getting it is a bad thing, then winning must not be that important.
8. After actually watching the Vikings-Packers, I like Aaron Rodgers much more then I did before that game. For a man to get sacked 8 times and hurried pretty well every time he dropped back to pass to play the way he did is phenomenal. He kept the Vikings from running away with the game, completed passes when he needed to and every time he got knocked down, he got up with no complaints and played the next down with the same fearless attitude he has had all year. The only thing is, a quarterback getting sacked and hit as much as he has been is gonna have a tough time staying healthy, and if he gets injured, the Packers are looking at another top 10 pick in next years draft.
9. I just can't leave this game alone. Brett Favre was impressive, as good as he's ever been, don't get me wrong. However, you can't depend on him to throw the ball that much all the time. He is 40 years old, and that arm is not going to stand throwing the ball 30-35 times a game all year. That game was important, and that's why I saw no problem with letting him throw, but you better give him a little less a work load at the beginning, because the effectiveness of this deal is going to be judged by wins in January, not be winning games in October.
10. This one is being influenced by something I just read. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH GREG JENNINGS! Wanna know why he's not catching balls? He is a receiver that runs 15-20 yard routes, which requires some time. Aaron Rodgers is being flushed almost right away. Simple logic implies that it isn't Jennings' with the problem, or Rodgers, it's the offensive line. That whole Packer problem boils down to that offensive line. Could you imagine what Rodgers and Jennings could do with the proper time for Jennings to run his routes?